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Trade Secrets and Patents: A Comprehensive Approach to Protecting Intellectual Property

Evaluating the Protection Options, Weighing the Benefits and Risks

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Recorded event now available

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This CLE webinar will guide IP counsel in determining whether trade secret or patent protection is the optimal mode for inventions and technologies. The panel will outline best practices for counsel to consider in determining the optimal form of protection.


Patents and trade secrets provide two ways of protecting inventions and technology. The AIA changed the playing field and disclosure requirements. Those who commercially used an invention one year before the patent was filed now have a defense to infringement claims. Also, there is a federal cause of action for trade secret misappropriation under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA).

Counsel must understand the pros and cons of each mode of protection to guide their clients in choosing between protecting inventions as a trade secret, filing for a patent, or utilizing a strategy of both trade secret and patent protection for an invention.

Listen as our authoritative panel examines the choice between seeking patent or trade secret protection. The panel will discuss options in planning for protecting new inventions and technologies, considerations when determining which protection to pursue, and opportunities for coexistence between patents and trade secrets invention. The panel will offer best practices for determining which form of protection works best.



  1. Impact of the DTSA on patents
  2. Impact of the AIA on trade secrets
  3. Inventions/technologies suitable for trade secret protection
  4. Benefits and risks of patent and trade secret protection
  5. Best practices
    1. Choosing between patent and trade secret protection
    2. Implications of the choice


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What impact has the DTSA had on patents?
  • For what types of inventions is trade secret protection most suitable? Which inventions are more suitable for patents?
  • What factors should counsel consider when choosing between trade secrets and patents to protect IP?


Burson, Laura
Laura M. Burson

Sheppard Mullin

Ms. Burson’s practice focuses on intellectual property litigation with an emphasis on patent law. She is a...  |  Read More

Graveline, Bradley
Bradley C. Graveline

Sheppard Mullin

Mr. Graveline’s practice focuses on patent litigation, intellectual property advice, cannabis, trademarks and...  |  Read More

Franklin, Darren
Darren M. Franklin

Sheppard Mullin

Mr. Franklin is a registered patent attorney with expertise in patent litigation, patent post-grant proceedings, patent...  |  Read More

Kathryn Ryan
Kathryn Ryan
Sheppard Mullin

Ms. Ryan focuses on counseling clients in intellectual property matters in the areas of cannabis, data privacy,...  |  Read More

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